Happy Halloween!

We attended one party at a friend's house, and had our annual party this year as well.  They were both tons of fun!  We thought about wearing different costumes for each, but weren't ambitious enough to get around to it.

Yummy food:  cheddar beer fondue (with bread, apples, and pretzels fr dipping), chocolate covered pretzels, and white chocolate popcorn

Jae as Black Widow

Bunny Megan , Ugly Betty Megan, and 80's nerd Ashlee (sans prom dress)

School Girl Me and Naughty Professor Patrick

The whole party at Jae's house.


I am starting a new job tomorrow.  It scares me.  A lot.  I have been with the same company for four years now - the longest I have ever stayed at a job.

Many changes have happened over the years at my job.  My boss was laid off.  Our company was bought out by a giant corporation.  Laws and rules became more strict. Our company started requiring that we take days off without pay (or by using our vacation time).

The market has slowly declined in that time.  Since my job is rather directly tied to real estate, it has affected me a lot, and business has slowed.  The company has generally provided a marketer to help us grow our business, but as budgets got tight, we were left without.  I haven't gotten business from new clients for many months.

I was contacted by some great people at a competing company hoping to steal me away to grow their business in my area.  I really didn't want to leave my friends and coworkers.  I've gotten to know almost everyone in the company and they are all wonderful people.  However, I felt like I was not been given the help I needed to grow, and if things were stagnant, soon there would be nothing left at all.

I feel blessed because people have recruited me for the last three jobs I have had.  It makes me feel like people value me and my skills.  I do try to do the best I can with what I have been given, especially because all I have is a high school education, though I hope to change that in the future.

I have enjoyed talking to the people at my new company because they are so positive and energetic.  I hope that it is what I need to start loving my job again, instead of just trying to make it through.

I hope that this was the right decision; that it will lead me to the future I want to make.  I am constantly worried about our future.  How can we start a family when so much is uncertain?  Have we wasted the last eight years of our lives?  Should we sell everything and start over?  Is that even possible?

I hope I can find the answers soon.

October Family Night

My mom and dad were in charge of family night this month.  They got the idea from my cousin (thanks Melissa!) to play games from the TV show "Minute to Win It".  We didn't have a lot of time that day, but we had dinner and got three different games in.

First up, we had to try and roll a ping pong ball down a measuring tape and into a shot glass.  You had to try and get 3 balls in a minute - one from each of 5, 6 and 7 feet.  We didn't have any shot glasses, so we used other smallish glasses from the kitchen instead.  Even then, only Paige was able to get a single ball in. 

Second, we had to try and keep three balloons in the air at the same time for a minute.  I'm not sure who ended up winning this one, but it was pretty entertaining and made for the best pictures I think.

And third, we had to put a cookie on our forehead and move it to our mouth using only our facial muscles.  Pat beat us all at this one - I think it took him about 3 seconds!

It was lots of fun, and the best part is that there are lots more Minute to Win It games to try next time!  Next month it is my turn to plan, so hopefully I can come up with something good.

Camping Close to Home

 Last weekend the weather was still nice and warm so we decided to fit in one more camping trip.  Usually when we go camping we head off somewhere that's at least a few hours from home, but this time we decided to see what was close by.  We got on the road and decided to see what was up in Monte Cristo.  What we found was a nice relaxing spot almost to ourselves with perfect weather and beautiful fall colors.

We were slowly looking for a camp spot, just taking random dirt roads to see where they went.  We were driving Jezebel the Jeep with Oliver the trailer following behind with all our gear.  We ended up on a smaller trail - one that I think is mostly used by ATVs.  It wasn't a problem until we took one turn that lead to a dead end.  We had to back up a ways to find a spot to turn around, and then the only spot we could find wasn't really big enough to turn the trailer around in.  We ended up very crooked and had to unhook Oliver and cut down a tree in order to get Jezebel turned around, then hook back up facing the other direction.  It took a little while, but wasn't really a problem.

We finally found a great place to set up camp.  It was almost to the end of a dead end road so it wasn't busy, and had plenty of shade.  It was big enough that we could have fit several more people with us.

We had a very relaxing afternoon, then took one more drive around the area.  We came to a trail that took us up to the top of a peak.  There were beautiful views in every direction.  You could even see Bear Lake!

Later, just as dusk was falling, we heard a large animal making some noises.  There was a small pond just down the hill from us so we thought that's where the noise was coming from.  Then Pat turned around to see a bull moose walking up the road next to our camp.  We got the dogs in the Jeep (I can just see Zoe trying to heard a moose...) and broke out the cameras.  It was too dark to get any great pictures, but you can at least tell what it is.

The next day we packed up camp and hit the road again.  We didn't want to go straight back home, so we decided to take the long way so that we could see Logan Canyon, which usually has spectacular fall color.  We circled around through Woodruff and Randolph, and entered Laketown at the south end of Bear Lake where we stopped to eat lunch  From there we took more dirt roads through the mountains.  On our way up Temple Canyon, Pat spotted this old snowmobile that had been abandoned in a pond.

And here's a section of road we drove through that just makes me feel all warm & fuzzy.  It was another beautiful day!

We drove past Old Ephraim's Grave, which was hopping busy.  For those who don't know, Old Ephraim is a local legend of a grizzly bear, both huge and intelligent, who harried the sheep farmers in the area for many years.

We continued down to Logan Canyon, where we stopped to play in the river for a while before heading home from our adventure.

Girls Shopping Day

My grandma came out to visit to see the new grandbaby and stayed for a week and a half.  While she was here I had a day off of work, so my grandma, my mom and I went down to SLC to do some shopping.  We stopped at a fabric store where I found the perfect print for covering the seats of the chairs I bought for my kitchen.  Hopefully I will be able to get to that project soon. 

We also spent some time at a thrift store.  My mom and I both found really cute skirts (hers brand new from Anthropology, mine from a designer for Target collection), but both were too small. :(  We did each find a few other things to make the trip worthwhile.  They had their Halloween costumes out, and I found brand new really cheap tights so I bought a pair in six different colors.  I can't wait to start wearing them with my experimental fashions.

Our last stop was at Gardner Village, which took all the rest of the day.  We had lunch at Archibald's - the three of us split one sandwich so that we had room for carrot cake for dessert. :)  They already had all the witches up.  It was weird wandering in the 85 degree heat in the middle of all the fall decor - we felt out of place.

My favorite witch was the hula hoop champion:

We had to stop for a sample of fudge, of course.  I tried the pumpkin chocolate chip and it was delicious as always!  Just look at these two kids in a candy store:
There were some very cute Halloween headbands for sale.  I really wanted one that was kind of flapper-looking.  It had two great big silver glittery feathers and a giant black spider.  Unfortunately it was also $20 and I could bring myself to spend that much.  Maybe I will try to make one of my own.  Here's another cute one I tried on:

The bakery had the best decoration of all, a giant cake!  With pumpkins for decorations no less! I loved it.

All in all we had a really nice time together.  We all found a couple of treasures to bring home so it was a very successful trip.

Last Lake Day

A couple of weekends ago we had our last day at the lake for this summer.  It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time relaxing with our friends.  I was dubbed the manliest person there (in a good way!) because I wakeboarded a LOT. 

While we were there the boys decided to make some sand angels.

I already can't wait until next year...

September Book List

Chimera by Rob Thurman - 337 pages
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta - 360 pages
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu - 233 pages
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collin - 390 pages
The Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman - 320 pages

TOTAL - 5 books - 1,640 pages

It felt like I got a lot more reading done this month than last, but I must have been busier doing other things than I thought because my page count is much lower than I expected it to be.  My favorite book of the month was Mockingjay.  It is the third and final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, and the entire series was fantastic. 

My biggest disappointment was How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.  It got rave reviews, but I just couldn't get into the story.  I almost gave up halfway through; and I should have, because it didn't get any more interesting to me.